The Joy Lab

The Joy Lab is interested in understanding how circuits in the brain rewire after a stroke and other CNS injuries, with the goal of identifying molecular and circuit principles for recovery.

Stroke causes death of brain tissue leading to long-term motor and cognitive deficits, making it the leading cause of serious-long term disability. With the loss of brain regions after a stroke, surviving circuits rewire and attempt to adapt to this loss. There is little understanding on fundamental mechanisms of how circuits rewire and the consequence of these rewiring processes on brain function. The focus of the Joy lab is to understand mechanisms of circuit reorganization, identify maladaptive and adaptive processes and determine how these processes change the way the brain encodes motor and cognitive functions. Our investigations span synaptic, molecular, circuit and behavioral domains to identify circuit mechanisms and molecular signatures that drive recovery and identify therapeutic targets for stroke. We are also interested in translating these findings to other disease models of CNS injuries. We use a host of techniques including but not limited to large-scale mesoscopic calcium imaging, widefield imaging, optogenetics, transcriptomics, gene/protein targeting with viral vectors or drugs and ethological measurements of behavior.